Oral Health Group

And a little ferret shall lead them…..REDUX

December 20, 2011
by ken

Please note – this entry is not being written to be dismissive or derisive. It is simply to demonstrate that the chasm between getting an email from a Provincial Association or a Provincial Licensing Body without some mechanism for interactive dialogue to fully comprehend the implications, scope and mechanism for implementation of legislation is potentially a “huge black hole”.  With social networking/media that is a dialogue through a dental intranet – THINK iTRANS ON STEROIDS, not a monologue, with a substantive “tech support” for these issues (cut the catering budget on New and Crescent Street) that is front and center and doesn’t require require a visit to Dante’s nine circles of voice mail hell or some completely unintuitive website and voila, chaos, panic and paranoia in the heartland leaves the red zone.  There is an overwhelming need for dental associations and licensing bodies to recognize the need to reframe. How we start off and how we end up are sadly mutually exclusive not inclusive and as research demonstrates, that is against the natural order. Let us talk to one another about changes, don’t mandate them, introduce them, let them evolve, let them be incorporated and assimilated and fix them on the proving grounds of day to day practice. There is a huge chasm between mandate and execution….. to whit……..

 [Yale psychology professor Paul Bloom notes that “it is often beneficial for humans to work together … which means it would have been adaptive to evaluate the niceness and nastiness of other individuals.” In groundbreaking research, he and his team found that infants in their first year of life demonstrate aspects of an innate sense of right and wrong, good and bad, even fair and unfair. When shown a puppet climbing a mountain, either helped or hindered by a second puppet, the babies oriented toward the helpful puppet. They were able to make an evaluative social judgment, in a sense a moral response.

Michael Tomasello, a developmental psychologist who co-directs the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has also done work related to morality and very young children. He and his colleagues have produced a wealth of research that demonstrates children’s capacities for altruism. He argues that we are born altruists who then have to learn strategic self-interest.]

Encryption really caught my attention because I understood the mechanics behind it.  Since the Accessibility Act was being brought into force, I felt it would be intriguing to effect due diligence with regard to how matters such as this come to bear in the profession and to try to truly understand legislation and it’s permutations and combinations. You don’t need to be an anarchist to know that inanity remains in force on the books in many provinces and states in N. America. The Peeling issue not being resolved in the blink of an eye was a perfect example and worth the time to peruse this particular act.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the AODA) came into force in 2005 and charged the Ministry of Community and Social Services (the Ministry) with the goal of making Ontario completely accessible for persons with disabilities by January 2025. The AODA itself does not create many specific obligations. Rather, it mandates the creation of standard development committees in five general areas: Customer Service, Transportation, Employment, Information and Communication and Built Environment. These standard development committees are tasked with creating draft standards in each area that are designed to remove or prevent barriers to accessibility, and then submit the standards to the government for review and enactment as regulation. Collectively, the AODA and the standards enacted under the legislation will require organizations operating in Ontario to be more proactive in ensuring accessibility in their activities to promote the participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of Ontario society. To date, only the Customer Service Standard has been enacted.

The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation (the Customer Service Standard) came into force on January 1, 2008. It sets out various requirements for ensuring that providers of goods and services in Ontario have policies in place that accommodate the needs of customers with disabilities and make the provision of goods and services accessible to those customers. Beginning on January 1, 2012, almost all businesses operating in Ontario will be required to comply with the Customer Service Standard. As the AODA is Ontario law, it applies only to the provision of goods or services that are under the jurisdiction of the Ontario government. Organizations under federal jurisdiction, such as banks and airlines, are not required to comply with the AODA.

This legislation is a provincial legislation and Ontario is the first province to implement it.  There is a significant amount of documentation under the Ontario Gov’t outlining the legislation in detail.  The vision behind the AODA is to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities by 2025.  This is a phased in legislation.  Private sector compliance in Ontario is January 1, 2012. One item that caught my eye was “service animals”.

I spoke to a lawyer today and the following is what he provided in defining “service animals” which is a requirement mandated by the legislation in terms of accessibility.

The AODA legislation, which I cross referenced with other legislation and Regulations, does not specifically list animals save and except the dog of course.

The AODA simply creates a test at Reg. 429/07, s. 4 (9) on how other animals (other than a guide dog) may qualify as a service animal under the AODA.

In essence, any animal can be considered a service animal as long as it looks like it’s doing work relating to the person’s disability or there is a medical note (from a doctor or nurse) that confirms the animal in question’s role/purpose with respect to the disabled person.

(9)  For the purposes of this section, an animal is a service animal for a person with a disability,

(a) if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or

(b) if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability. O. Reg. 429/07, s. 4 (9).

Below is the “legal” definition of “service animals”.  Basically, any animal will qualify as a service animal as long as it is doing work relating to the person’s disability OR the disabled person is able to provide a doctor’s note confirming the animal purpose is to assist the disabled person.  I spoke to a trainer who works with companies to understand the implementation of AODA legislation.  She was clear that she has seen the following animals used as service animals:

Ponies (for autism),

Dogs (for the blind)

Monkeys (for people with mobility disorders such as those in a wheelchair)

Cats and ferrets (for those with mental illness disorders such as anxiety)

Pot Belly Pigs (for the hearing impaired).

My point in all this is that again, whether it’s the privacy act, encryption, certification for usage of cbCT or the Accessibility Act, it would be a powerful boost to the profession in this country if an intranet existed. I know that there are resources at the disposal of the profession to contact, but that by definition can only prove to be inefficient as it is mano a mano or persono a persono. Imagine if there was an expanded iTrans that became the Canadian Dental Internet – IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITES?!!!!